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Old 29-09-2013, 22:56
jackaljd
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Hi All,

After many years of using Orange/EE, I have decided to move to another network due to more and more disappointing data (3g) coverage and speed. In addition during peak times a few attempts are sometimes required before voice calls connect, most probably I'm assuming due to network congestion. I live and work in London and have been assured many times by EE customer service representatives that I should not be expecting such signal issues. I have tried different phones and even recently requested a new sim but it made no difference.

Friends and colleagues using Vodafone and O2 seem to experience superior network performance compared to myself .

I am most likely going to move to Vodafone, and I'm quite tempted by the deals which dialaphone offers. Do Vodafone users which go through 'cheaper' service providers such as dialaphone receive the same signal strength and capacity as those which go direct through Vodafone retail?

Thanks
Jonathan
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Old 29-09-2013, 23:04
Zee_Bukhari
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yes those who go through cheaper dealers get the same signal strength and everything else as those who go direct, only difference is the price.

If I was you I would try out pay as you go sim cards in the areas you go to the most just so you don't face issues with the new provider.

Vodafone is known to have poor 3G coverage and poor data speeds so this is something to take into account, maybe you could go for one of their 4G tariffs?
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Old 29-09-2013, 23:05
jabbamk1
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I am most likely going to move to Vodafone, and I'm quite tempted by the deals which dialaphone offers. Do Vodafone users which go through 'cheaper' service providers such as dialaphone receive the same signal strength and capacity as those which go direct through Vodafone retail?

Thanks
Jonathan
Yes. You're still signing up to Vodafone but via a third party.
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Old 30-09-2013, 00:25
heskethbang
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I would be very cautious about moving to Vodafone for data reasons. EE and 3 wipe the floor with them and o2 in terms of data speed, and coverage is pretty good on both.
I left Vodafone because the network deteriorated to such a degree that I could no longer make calls in my home without switching off 3G altogether. Where there was 3G coverage, the speed was such that you had to use wifi to anything like look at facebook or watch a youtube clip. I switched to 3 and haven't looked back. Don't take my word for it though; check out the rootmetrics score for all the networks in London - http://rootmetrics.com/uk/compare-op...london/london/ - Vodafone comes off the worst by far. Have you considered getting a cheap PAYG sim and trialling different networks yourself?
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Old 30-09-2013, 07:18
Steven L Hunter
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I have 3G coverage 99% of the time with Vodafone but then I live in a city but never had any problems with them and apparently they have the biggest chunk of 4G spectrum. I would recommend them but if you travel a lot through the country then EE or 3 would be best for 3G in more places.
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Old 30-09-2013, 08:01
jchamier
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apparently they have the biggest chunk of 4G spectrum.
Vodafone have:
20 MHz at 800mhz
65 MHz at 2600mhz

EE has:
10 MHz at 800mhz
70 MHz at 2600mhz
90 MHz at 1800mhz

I think EE has more spectrum for 4G.

Voda had to PAY a lot more to grab spectrum, as they were a long way behind. They realise this and are spending a lot of money. I would look at them again in 3 years (unless you are mostly city based).
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Old 30-09-2013, 08:29
Quackers
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Having been with Orange or T-Mobile for over a decade like you i switched in 2011 to Vodafone, i soon when running back to them, Vodafone is awful. Data throughput was dire in comparison everywhere i went, and that includes London, there online customer area was down more than it was up when i wanted access to it, and the amount of black spots i found was just annoying me.
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Old 30-09-2013, 08:47
heskethbang
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Vodafone have:
20 MHz at 800mhz
65 MHz at 2600mhz

EE has:
10 MHz at 800mhz
70 MHz at 2600mhz
90 MHz at 1800mhz

I think EE has more spectrum for 4G.

Voda had to PAY a lot more to grab spectrum, as they were a long way behind. They realise this and are spending a lot of money. I would look at them again in 3 years (unless you are mostly city based).
Well I live in Britains' second city and apart from deterioration of service at home, I could only pick up EDGE on the High Street/Pavillions area of the shopping district. I don't know if they underinvested in 3G and are now reaping what they've sown or what. The rootmetrics survey for Birmingham has shown them at 50% reliability compared with 85%+ with the other networks. Don't get me wrong, Vodafone have the best roaming deals, and I found them absolutely brilliant for 2g, particularly in the remote areas of Scotland, but they are absolutely the wrong network to use if you own a smartphone. Like you say, maybe in 3 years they will have improved, but going by the speed of their 3G roll out, I don't hold out much hope.

http://rootmetrics.com/uk/compare-op...m-august-2013/
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:04
daleski75
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Hi All,

After many years of using Orange/EE, I have decided to move to another network due to more and more disappointing data (3g) coverage and speed. In addition during peak times a few attempts are sometimes required before voice calls connect, most probably I'm assuming due to network congestion. I live and work in London and have been assured many times by EE customer service representatives that I should not be expecting such signal issues. I have tried different phones and even recently requested a new sim but it made no difference.

Friends and colleagues using Vodafone and O2 seem to experience superior network performance compared to myself .

I am most likely going to move to Vodafone, and I'm quite tempted by the deals which dialaphone offers. Do Vodafone users which go through 'cheaper' service providers such as dialaphone receive the same signal strength and capacity as those which go direct through Vodafone retail?

Thanks
Jonathan
The best advice I can give is get a pay and go simcard top up a tenner and give the network a go in all the places where you rely on a signal/3g/4g connectivity.

Better to waste a tenner than sign up to a new 24 month agreement.
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:28
BKM
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Friends and colleagues using Vodafone and O2 seem to experience superior network performance compared to myself .

I am most likely going to move to Vodafone, and I'm quite tempted by the deals which dialaphone
I have been with Vodafone for 6 months but WILL leave at the end of the 12month contract!!

The reason is that, while they are brilliant for 2G coverage, in my area (Oxfordshire) 3G sucks big time - and there are no plans on their website for it to get better any time soon. Most of the more rural areas are 5-bar 2G and ZERO 3G. Even the towns are very patchy.
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Old 30-09-2013, 09:42
heskethbang
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I have been with Vodafone for 6 months but WILL leave at the end of the 12month contract!!

The reason is that, while they are brilliant for 2G coverage, in my area (Oxfordshire) 3G sucks big time - and there are no plans on their website for it to get better any time soon. Most of the more rural areas are 5-bar 2G and ZERO 3G. Even the towns are very patchy.
That's pretty much my experience with them and it's a shame; they're a proper British company and a huge success story globally. You'd think they could use more of those profits to reinvest in their UK infrastructure.
It's not just Voda though - I've found o2 are also wanting. It's as if they underestimated the rapid expansion of smartphone use and thought 2G and EDGE would get them by. Rather short-sighted if true. I find three are light years ahead in terms of speed, and their coverage is excellent these days. For many in rural areas, they are proving a superior alternative to ADSL broadband.
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Old 30-09-2013, 10:20
BKM
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That's pretty much my experience with them and it's a shame; they're a proper British company and a huge success story globally. You'd think they could use more of those profits to reinvest in their UK infrastructure.
Their 2G coverage is amongst the very best - so they onviously have the sites and masts. It must, as you say, be purely down to lack of investment in 3G!
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Old 30-09-2013, 11:04
moox
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I have been with Vodafone for 6 months but WILL leave at the end of the 12month contract!!

The reason is that, while they are brilliant for 2G coverage, in my area (Oxfordshire) 3G sucks big time - and there are no plans on their website for it to get better any time soon. Most of the more rural areas are 5-bar 2G and ZERO 3G. Even the towns are very patchy.
Identical down here in Cornwall. O2 aren't much better, although they do have a cellsite at the edge of the village that often gives very good 3G performance (I assume it is mostly there to cover the major A road) - it doesn't really cover the village well though.

Vodafone and O2 are unbeatable for 2G coverage though.
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Old 30-09-2013, 13:55
sethpet
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I will prob upgrade on Vodafone once more based on the promise of 98% indoor coverage by end of 2015.

if that's not looking likely at the end of this next 12m contract i will leave then.
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Old 30-09-2013, 13:59
enapace
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Vodafone and O2 are unbeatable for 2G coverage though.
I would be pretty ashamed to be those networks if it wasn't they have the 900MHz spectrum.
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Old 30-09-2013, 15:27
sevenman
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im on three the 3g throughout cornwall is virtually everywhere 02 is bad for 3g and data prices but more consistent with texts and calls and behaviour
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Old 30-09-2013, 15:53
corf
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o2 and voda should be deeply embarrased by their respective 3g implementations. Nothing short of dire.

Both are fantastic for 2g, they both need to push 3G900 fast to replace/co-exist with their 900mhz 2g installations as it seems blatantly obvious they only care about large urban areas and aren't rolling out 3g 2100mhz to vast parts of the country.
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Old 30-09-2013, 22:28
japitts
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Their 2G coverage is amongst the very best - so they onviously have the sites and masts. It must, as you say, be purely down to lack of investment in 3G!
Agreed - but as you say, their 2G coverage is "amongst" the very best. Experience tells me there are other networks that have caught up, to a point they are equally as good.
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Old 30-09-2013, 22:35
jchamier
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Both are fantastic for 2g, they both need to push 3G900 fast to replace/co-exist with their 900mhz 2g installations as it seems blatantly obvious they only care about large urban areas and aren't rolling out 3g 2100mhz to vast parts of the country.
They forgot to invest in back haul. I suspect many masts have 2megabit/sec connections to the core and not the 100meg or 1000meg they need.
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Old 30-09-2013, 22:45
heskethbang
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If all you do is calls and texts then any decent 2G network will do. But people are doing emails, facebook, skype, iplayer, imessaging and downloading music, mapping, satnav, facetime. 2G will not cut it.
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Old 30-09-2013, 22:48
wrexham103.4
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around north wales vodafone has almost zero 3G coverage away from wrexham and a few coastal towns and 2G isnt that amazing either. O2 is dire for 3G here and Orange always had rural wales covered better with 2G, and now with EE its 3G everywhere where there is 2G
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Old 01-10-2013, 10:36
planetf1
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Just to add that I also tried vodafone for a while ... bad move. Their 3G network is more patchy than 3, and even when you have signal throughput can vary from slow to totally unusable.

It was getting to the point that almost everywhere I went to I had a problem. I admit texts/basic calls had very good coverage -- though even there I had numerous call failures yet to be seen on three, my choice -- and the data speeds are worlds apart.

Maybe voda 4G will be better, perhaps they are *finally* investing in backhaul -- but at this point in time - useless.

I am though on a 1 month rolling contract and purchased a phone up front so I have ultimate flexibility.

It's hard to argue with 3 tariffs though -- even the most pricey sim only 1 plan gives unlimited data at 18/month. I've already changed the way I'm using the device. I now stream iplayer programs at the gym, stream spotify etc etc, occasionally tether laptop. brilliant.

EE sounds like it has a pretty decent network/coverage, but their tariffs are high....
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:54
KevJ
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Interesting subject:

I'm on EE and have been since Orange began; the 3G coverage is dreadful and has got worse ever since the 4G rollout began. ( I'm 1.1 miles from Nottingham City Centre)

It's been particularly bad since the Spring, practically every call made/received gets 'dropped'.

Some say it's a problem 'switching from 4 to 3G, but given 4G is 'data' only - doesn't quite make sense.

I think it's more to do with 'cell congestion' - too many calls for the cells to cope with. Why? Because I noticed that over the August Bank Holiday Weekend I was managing to make calls without them dropping off.

Yet, come the Tuesday ( and people were returning to work) the Calls dropped again. Same with late night and weekends...make/receive calls then, and the calls are maintained.

EE deny there's a problem with the 3G Network...which if you accept the above, is technically true.

BUT they are also taking out masts too, which when you're signing up new customers, and cutting down the numbers of masts - you get cell congestion! Result Call drops.

I'd be interested to see if anyone else has noticed this in their area too.

Either way, it's a crappy service at present, and I resent paying for a service that's no longer as stable and reliable as it was prior to 4G rolling out.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:31
johnathome
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I think EE are the only ones who think there isn't a problem.

The CS are just replying how they've been told to. If EE admitted there was a problem would you be able to get out of your contract?
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Old 02-10-2013, 23:02
jackaljd
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Many thanks for all the replies everyone - much appreciated. Think I will buy a few pay as you go sims and test mobile internet performance to and from work each day across the different networks.

incidentally, has anyone else in London experienced patchy mobile internet performance when travelling on the overground section of the Central line between Ealing Broadway and White City?

Also, I'm aware Virgin Mobile uses EE's network, bit similar to my original question, but would Virgin users experience the same voice/data performance as those which use EE's network directly? Possibly Virgin may rent a limited amount of EE's bandwidth?
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